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Wasps boss Hanks adds to chorus of criticism aimed at top-flight referees


WASPS boss Tony Hanks added his voice to criticism of Premiership refereeing after seeing his side's play-off hopes dented by a 12-6 home defeat to Newcastle.

Falcons fly-half Jimmy Gopperth kicked four penalties to earn them a first win at Adams Park in nine attempts, with Mark van Gisbergen and Dave Walder scoring with the boot for Wasps.

Saracens chief Brendan Venter is facing a possible disciplinary charge after criticising the refereeing during his side's defeat to Leicester on Saturday.

And just 24 hours later Hanks echoed his Sarries counterpart by blaming the officials following his side's scrappy defeat.

"Both teams tried to play some rugby and that's where I'm most frustrated," said Hanks. "Week-in, weekout the breakdown seems to be different. We need to get clear inter-
pretation in terms of who's allowed to play the ball.

"We need that to encourage teams to play rugby. At the moment what incentive is there to play rugby?"

Newcastle directory of rugby Steve Bates said he sympathised with officials but added that issues remained unresolved.

"The referee has a very difficult job but we're not seeing as much consistency as we'd all like," he said.